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New business to bring drive-thru coffee to south side

Coffee lovers living on the south side of Owatonna are rejoicing, as a new business will be bringing a quick pick-me-up to their area.

Scooter’s Coffee, shown here at it’s Maplewood location, is planning to move in to the vacant lot near Hy-Vee on the corner of 18th Street and Cedar Avenue. This will be the first drive-thru coffee shop on the south side of Owatonna. (Photo courtesy of Scooter’s Coffee)

Last month, Owatonna Community Development Director Troy Klecker alerted the City Council that Scooter’s Coffee was eyeing a location in town, recommending the councilors approve a conditional use permit to construct a 670-square-foot drive-thru coffee shop on 104 18th St. SW.

“This space in particular is on a very prominent corner of 18th Street and Cedar,” Klecker said. “It has been vacant for quite a long time and has been for sale for a very long time.”

On Tuesday, the City Council agreed to enter into a purchase agreement with Roosevelt Lake Holdings, LLC — Scooter’s Coffee — to purchase the property with the intention to construct the Scooter’s building. According to Klecker, city staff have been working with Scooter’s to bring the business to town since February 2022. Klecker said they are hoping to finalize the purchase agreement and close on the sale by the end of the month.

“This is a very visible corner and it’s certain to garner a lot of attention,” Klecker said.

While the city frequently celebrates large expansion projects or businesses coming to town, Klecker said this small building is just as big of a deal for the city — it is still important and exciting growth.

“It is a small building, but they’ll have coffee and smoothers, so it will be a good addition to the south side of town,” Klecker said, noting the other coffee shop option on that side of town is the Starbucks located inside Hy-Vee, which does not have a drive thru.

Scooter’s Coffee was founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Nebraska. They have since expanded throughout the country, with 13 locations in Minnesota, including two in Mankato, one in Austin and one in Rochester.

The community has been elated with the news, talking about it on social media for the last two days following an announcement made by the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, stating the business would be coming soon to the vacant lot. Within a day, the announcement was shared more than 80 times and garnered more than 100 comments and reactions.

“This is awesome! Scooter’s is great!” commented Chris Lee.

“Great to see new business in our community,” wrote Jean Purrier.

“This has me so excited,” said Molly Ahrens. “It’s so close to work!”

“Great to have something going in on the south side!” commented Kristin Spurgeon-Summer.

Scooter’s will be purchasing the property for $130,000, and the city will be retaining a triangular parcel at the corner of 18th Street and North Cedar to accomodate a trail crossing at that intersection.

According to the development proposal, the business will be available to drive thru customers only and will not have a walk up window or a counter inside the building that will handle customers. There will be a drive thru loop with one lane around the building.

Scooter’s hopes to begin construction in the spring.

Former youth pastor sentenced to 30 days jail, 10 years probation

The former youth pastor of Northridge Church in Owatonna has been sentenced to minimal jail time and a decade of probation after pleading guilty to grooming and molesting a teenager who had been in his youth group.

Sean Patrick Masopust, 33, was sentenced Thursday morning in Steele County District Court to 30 days jail, with credit for two days already served, and 10 years supervised probation, for a felony conviction of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 16 and 17 who he had a position of authority over. Masopust pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 6.

Judge Joseph Bueltel handed down the sentencing.

Now a resident of Olmsted County, Masopust has until 6 p.m. Monday to turn himself in to the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center to begin his jail sentencing. Bueltel said if the jail has work release available, he is eligible for that program.

Terms of Masopust’s probation include attending and completing a sex offender treatment program, no unsupervised contact with persons under the age of 18 (with the exception of his own biological children in cooperation with Child Protective Services), no access to or use of internet without approval, no possession of any device that allows for internet capabilities or access to the internet without internet monitoring software, and he must register as a predatory offender.

If Masopust is unsuccessful in completing his probation, he will serve 18 months in state prison.

Court records show the charge stems from multiple incidents that took place in 2018 from June to October.

According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 23, 2021, a member of the regional counsel of Northridge Church reported to Owatonna police an “inappropriate relationship” that took place between Masopust and a 17-year-old female in 2018. The reporting party allegedly told police the church had first heard the “relationship” was through texting, but after some digging found that “inappropriate things” were occurring. Masopust reportedly admitted to the counsel to some of the conduct and has since been fired from the church. The reporting party said the victim was a part of Masopust’s youth group at the time of the “relationship.”

According to Owatonna police, the church fired Masopust in October 2021.

Masopust was arrested and charged Feb. 2, 2022.

On Feb. 3, Tammy Perryman, mother-in-law of Masopust and wife of the church lead pastor, resigned from her position as director of the Sunshine Tree Daycare, which is located in the basement of the church. Lead Pastor Mark Perryman, Masopust’s father-in-law, voluntarily resigned from his position on Feb. 6. Felicia Masopust, the daughter of the Perryman’s and wife of Masopust, also resigned from her position as a youth pastor.